Featured, Library Resources, Special Collections

Mystery Solved: There are Mystery and Science Fiction Books in the Library

By Gabriella DiMeglio & Hannah Herrlich, Quinn & Walsh Libraries Support Staff

We all know the library as the go-to spot for course required reading, but did you know there is also plenty of non-academic material to choose from as well? Whether it’s a puzzling mystery novel from the Maurer Mystery Collection or an outlandish science-fiction story, the Fordham University Libraries provides many options from these genres for those days when reading another textbook just isn’t in the cards.

The Marie and Otto Maurer Mystery Collection

Thanks to one of our very own alumni, the Fordham University Library is home to one of the largest collections of mystery novels in the country. Otto Maurer donated his lifelong collection of more than 7,000 mystery books to Walsh Library in 2005, and the collection has only grown since then.

An avid fan of the mystery genre, Maurer amassed a number of rare first editions and signed volumes. These items are shelved within the Archives and Special Collections, and can be accessed by appointment in the Special Collections reading room. A large portion of the collection, however, can be browsed in the stacks on the fourth floor of Walsh Library.

The Maurer Mystery Collection
There are many books to checkout!

A selection of rare volumes from the Archives and Special Collections also are available for viewing at Quinn Library. Stop by the glass display case on the third floor to see items like:

A first edition copy of Agatha Christie’s Cards on the Table
Signed volumes from renowned authors, such as Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout.

And Now for Some Science Fiction

Another great option for non-academic reading at the library can be found in the science fiction genre. We have tons of materials – in various forms of media – for those interested in exploring the outer limits…

A Clockwork Orange

Just this one story can be consumed in a variety of ways. To start, the novel by Anthony Burgess is available to checkout at the Walsh Library (PR6045.I626 C5 1987). There is also Stanley Kubrick’s retelling and cult classic film rendition, accessible through a library-provided movie database, Swank. (Watch it, here!) Of course, you always can pop in a DVD. Both Walsh and Quinn Libraries have a wide-screen edition and a digitally restored and remastered edition, available to checkout today.

W DVD 816 (Walsh/Quinn)
W DVD 816 V.1 & 2 (Walsh/Quinn)


Additionally, the dystopian science-fiction story of 1984 also can be absorbed through various media formats. Starting with George Orwell’s book, look no further than the stacks of both Walsh and Quinn Libraries (PR6029.R8 N5 2003). Streaming of Michael Radford’s film is provided through Swank- watch it here. And once again, there is the old-fashioned DVD edition of the film, available at Quinn Library (W DVD 1010).

W DVD 1010 (Quinn)
2001: A Space Odyssey

Lastly, there is Arthur C. Clarke’s 1968 book, 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was developed concurrently with the film and published after the movie premiere. The book is available to checkout at Walsh Library (PR6005.L36 A615 2016), and the reliable database Swank provides streaming access to Stanley Kubrick’s film version, here. And if DVDs are the preferred method for movie watching, then there are plenty available at both Walsh and Quinn Libraries (W DVD 121 2007).

W DVD 121 2007 (Walsh/Quinn)

Many other sci-fi films are available to stream through our Streaming Film Library in Swank. Log in with your Fordham credentials and filter by category to select the science-fiction genre. There are countless classic titles to choose from, like Back to the Future, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, The Matrix, and more!

Whether you want to take a trip to the Maurer Mystery Collection or browse through science-fiction tales in the library catalog, the University Libraries is your spot for both academic and entertainment resources. As we approach the end of the semester and the workload increases, it can be a nice idea to take a break with non-academic material. And as always, do not hesitate to contact your university librarians at any time. We are here to help!

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